Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oberlin Avenue Farmhouse

Here's an interesting photo that was part of a huge ad for the Kucirek Construction Company that ran in the Lorain Journal on July 18, 1959. (Click on it for a super-sized view.)

According to the ad copy, the company had recently renovated the 'old farmhouse' at 29th and Oberlin Avenue and included the photo as the 'before' shot. Since the ad did not contain an accompanying 'after' shot, I drove over with my camera to take one. (Actually I drive by the house all the time, since the house is on my 'flight path' to Yala's Pizza.)

Although my library research revealed that the house first appeared in the city directory in 1940, the Lorain County Auditor's website has the year of construction listed as 1900, which usually means it was before 1900. Nevertheless, if one was driving south on Oberlin Avenue in 1940, this house was probably the last one you would have seen before you hit the city limits at Meister Road, as well as the last one on either side of the street before the Airport Tavern (the present day Mutt and Jeff's) at 3700 Oberlin Avenue. (It's hard to tell if there were other old homes out there with no address.)

It's hard to imagine a time when there was nothing out there in that part of Lorain – no Lorain Plaza, no Willow Shopping Center, no St. Peter's – but this old photo helps to visualize it. The Lorain Images of America book (that I refer to so often) says that there used to be a big dairy farm at the northwest corner of Oberlin Avenue and Meister Road.

The house changed hands a few years after it was built, but by 1947 was curiously back with the earlier owner. By then, another house had been built in the 3400 block of Oberlin Avenue. So now there were two houses on Oberlin Avenue in that neck of the woods!

Around the early 1950's, Kucirek Construction Company acquired the house and renovated it by the time of the 1958 advertisement.

And here is what it looks like today. Through the years, I knew that this house didn't quite fit in with all the 1950's ranches in the area. Now I (and you) know why!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history about this house. I lived on 29th street and always thought is looked a little out of place. I do remember that there used to be a big willow tree out front, then one day it was gone!

Man....I get hungry every time you mention Yala's!!!

Hoy hoy,

Jeff Rash